2016 Planet Forward Sustainable Cities Summit

Open Dates: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Effective storytelling rests at the nexus of innovations seeking to address the urgent social and environmental sustainability challenges facing cities across the globe. 

This was the overarching theme of the 2016 Planet Forward Summit on Sustainable Cities, held April 21-22, in Washington, D.C. (See the full agenda, or see the report of the 2016 Summit.)

In the fight against climate change, cities represent both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity. 

Participants heard from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the challenges of sustainability, as well as the success story of Boston Harbor’s revitalization. And Thomas Lovejoy, who has been called the "godfather of biodiversity," discussed the importance of biodiversity as we continue to urbanize the planet.

Mayors and leaders from cities discussed the environmental challenges their city is facing — and how they are working to solve them — from mobility to equity, and from eroding coastlines to water quality issues and failing infrastructure to how we're going to feed and house the masses. (Hear more from the experts, and see some of the content and student work we presented during the Summit.)

Finally, we heard from students telling the stories of innovations and the people behind them who will lead us to a sustainable future. The winners of our annual student storytelling competition, Storyfest 2016, will head to the U.N. headquarters to meet with leaders and share their stories: Blooming BiosolidsSmart Floating Farms and Fighting Food Waste: The Food Recovery Network.

Be sure to check out the slideshow from the day's events. Watch the full video playlist on YouTube. Or, check out our Storify of the 2016 event!

Thanks for joining us for the 2016 Summit — whether that was in person or online! You helped make it a remarkable gathering. We are already looking forward to an even more exciting Summit next year. Save the date: April 6-7, 2017!

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.

Hub Content

The George Washington University, Spring 2016 Editorial Intern
Ilana Creinin, Danielle Baglivo and Sophie Martin are all undergraduates at The George Washington University.
The George Washington University, Spring 2016 Editorial Intern
Andre and R’Myni created a video that focused on saving local farms in Mississippi.
The George Washington University, Spring 2016 Editorial Intern
Eric Abramson is a senior at The George Washington University studying economics and sustainability.
The George Washington University, Spring 2016 Editorial Intern
Hannah and Oswin created a video that focused on their own innovation, which they call “VertiKale.”